The eruption of Mount Krakatoa in 1883 was one of the most violent volcanic events on record. A huge explosion (150 megatons of TNT) occurred as seawater hit hot magma and turned instantly to steam. The blast was heard over 4,000 km away in Australia and India. The Volcano Explosivity Index (VEI) of the eruption was 6 (colossal). See volcanoes for background.
The whole volcano was destroyed because of the massive explosion. Parts of the volcano fell into the sea and caused a giant tsunami (40 meters). The dust from the eruption reached the stratosphere and affected weather worldwide for several years. More than 35,000 people were killed by tsunami and eruption. Only about a third of the pre-1883 island survived the blast.
From 1927 to 1930, there were several underwater eruptions on the site of the old Krakatoa volcano. On August 11, 1930, a new volcano and island appeared. This new volcano and island are called 1 Anak Krakatau (Child of Krakatoa).
See volcanoes for more general information.
The island of Anak Krakatau and the surrounding islands and seas are part of the national park of Ujung Kulon.
Flora and fauna
The easiest way to get in to Krakatoa is by chartering a boat from the west coast of Java (province of Banten). Tour operators can be found in most of the coastal towns, such as Anyer or Carita. The range of the tour fee will be around Rp750,000-3,000,0000, depending on the number of participants and the number of days. The price will include transport, food, accommodation in a tent, and a guide.
A cheaper but more time-consuming way to get to Krakatau is through the island of Sumatra (Lampung province). Lampung can be reached from Java via the frequent ferry service from the port of Merak. From the port of Bakauheni in Lampung, a yellow-coloured angkot (public minivan) can take you to Kalianda for about Rp20,000, and from there to the small harbour of Canti by another angkot (about Rp10,000) or by ojek (motorcycle taxi, Rp20,000).
In Canti there is a small port where you can make a deal with a fisherman, either for a day trip to Krakatau, or for a one-way trip to one of the accommodations. One full-day boat rental will cost you about Rp1,500,000. Alternatively, there is a regular boat from Canti to 2 Sebesi island (daily departure 14:00, return trip at 07:30; one way Rp 20,000). Since 2019 there is also a small ferry boat free of cost to increase the number of visitors to Sebesi island to help the population after the tsunami 2018. It starts from Kalianda harbour (Dermaga Bom) on wenesdays at 13:00, and turns back at 16:00. In Sebesi, you can also charter a fishing boat for a day, cheaper than in Canti, or simply observe Krakatoa from Gubuk Seng from 16 km distance. To get there have a walk on the main road going southwards (around 2 hr, passing three villages) or hire an Ojek (motocycle taxi) in the main village Tenjang. You may also stay overnight on Sebesi island. There are two homestays near the harbour or stay with a family (as for Pak Hayun).
Beware of strong current and large waves during August, September, October, and November.
Fees and permits
To enter the Krakatau area, tourists must obtain a permit from Balai Konservasi Sumber Daya Alam (BKSDA).
Nearby forest-covered islands include Sebesi and 3 Rakata. On the island of Sebesi, a small village houses a fishing community.
- 1 Penginapan Pulau Sebesi (walking distance from the Sebesi island jetty), ☏ . Simple accommodation provided by the Indonesia Tourism Board. The contact person is Pak Hayun. There are large rooms available (up to 10 persons) and smaller rooms with TV (up to 4 persons). Rp200,000-300,000 for a large room for 10 persons; Rp150,000 for single.
Some people in Sebesi island also provide homestays for travellers. The price is negotiable. If you are adventurous enough, you can try this option.
Most of the tour operators in Labuan and Anyer have a camp during the night at Rakata island. You can view the eruption of Krakatoa at night from here.
- Ujung Kulon National Park — the main part of the national park, on the mainland of Java and the island of Panaitan.
- Cilegon — the nearest larger city, on the mainland of Java.